First, Twitter lists give users of the Web platform added functionality that had been sorely lacking. Desktop applications such as Seesmic (what I use), Tweetdeck or Hootsuite had already given users the ability to set up user groups and searches. Twitter takes this one step further by allowing you to create public lists that others can follow.
Second, Twitter lists offer another metric for measuring influence and proving credibility. Because it’s easy to “game the system” on Twitter, it’s difficult to determine credibility based on someone’s follower count. Conversely, someone who is listed a number of times, shows that followers are paying attention to what this person has to say.
If you have yet to use Twitter lists and need a quick primer, I strongly recommend this step-by-step guide from Mashable. Additionally, here are several useful articles that talk about this new functionality:
- How brands can use Twitter lists
- Using Twitter Lists to Judge Influence
- Why Twitter “Lists” Change Everything
- 10 Ways You can Use Twitter Lists
- 4 Ways News Organizations are Using Twitter Lists
I’ve also found some great list compilations that are worth checking out:
- 10 Twitter Lists You Should Follow
- A few good journalism, blog and PR Twitter lists
- New York Times Twitter list
Want to see how I use Twitter lists? Here are the 10 lists I’ve created:
- Business — Entrepreneurs
- Marketing – PR
- Nashville media
- Nashville Folks
- National media
- Social media
- Tennessee media
Updated November 6, 2009
What do you think of Twitter lists? How are you using the feature? What lists have you created? Feel free to share your favorite lists in the comments!